MEDIAWATCH: Latest Hui Oranga Tamariki journalism shocks

Waikato whānau in crisis frustrated at lack of effective help for young son with severe, complex behavioural needs

For parents and whānau of tamariki with severe and complex behavioural needs, it can be like living in a warzone. Often these children can present a danger to themselves, as well as others.

One south Waikato mother describes it like this: “I feel like I’m in a domestic, violent relationship with a son I can’t escape. My great fear at the moment is that someone’s going to die. That’s how serious our situation here at home is.” 

She is speaking out to The Hui, frustrated with how hard it is to access the help she desperately needs for her 11-year-old boy.

“He’s our little superhero. He just deserves a good chance at life. That’s what I’m fighting for,” she said tearfully.

The Hui has agreed not to name the mother or the family members.

This dreadful, dreadful story by The Hui is courageous journalism that brings light to a terrible situation that is bewildering.

That the Whānau had to go to 20 different agencies to get help for their child who is showing dangerously violent tendencies shows how damaged the entire sector is! Surely a Whanau Ora approach that provides wrap around services directly to the Whānau rather than having that whanua do all the chasing around is what is required here.

The entire point of Oranga Tamariki is to intervene early to save the state money downstream, a child who is taking up knives and randomly slashing siblings strikes me as a threshold for intervention!

Thankfully the Hui is drawing attention to this and hopefully that attention gets the family the services they need.

Why does it take a current affairs programme publicly shaming the State before they intervene?

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